TU is in dire straits without a steady flow of oil money.
Wall Street was the most silent it has been since Black Monday in 1987. Stockbrokers had their hands on their heads, and the loudest noise in the room was a distant, stifled sobbing. The culprit? An attack on a Saudi Arabian oil field.
As a result of the explosion, The University of Tulsa’s stock is down 33 percent. For comparison, this is the first time TU has been valued at less than fellow oil corporation ExxonMobil in fifteen years. It’s barely staying above its competitor, BP.
With Saudi Arabia’s oil production now halved,, the country’s private sector is feeling the burn, but TU has seemed to get the worst of it.
Little is known about what caused this, but there are several prominent theories. Some say that some students so outraged over all the bickering at TU that a small fringe group decided reunite the school around what it cares about most: oil. All they had to do was purchase some weapons and shoot them off, an easy feat in this country.
Another theory is students from Oklahoma State University launched the attack to get back at TU for daring to be up at halftime against them in the recent football game. Even though OSU won the game, some students were a little bitter about that initial humiliation.
Another possible culprit is insider trading. Maybe some crooked Wall Street suits decided to purposefully do something to devalue the worth of TU’s stock.
The last theory — and an utterly ridiculous one — is that the attack had nothing to do with TU, and in fact was a result of mounting tensions in the Middle East. It was possibly something an unnamed group did in Iran in order to incite some chaos. But that seems highly unlikely.
Of course, the situation does get worse when one considers the dilemma TU is faced with. What is our little school to do? The massive military presence America has in the Middle East cannot simply invade all the parties that have been identified as prime suspects. And while Campus Security is a force to be reckoned with, full-scale invasion be bit a bit outside their job descriptions.
One solution could be to phase out the now unprofitable Petroleum Engineering program, but that one may be too controversial.
One proposed solution is to simply let ExxonMobil buy TU out. Both companies have long considered the record-breaking merger, and rumors perennially fly around that the deal may happen anyway. This may also help TU out of its financial crisis.
One idea, and this is considered by most as a last resort, is shifting TU’s focus from petroleum to become a well-rounded establishment that values all majors it offers with equal respect and funding. From an investment standpoint, TU putting all its eggs in one basket may just come back to bite it if something were to absolutely annihilate the oil industry. But that’s just a theory.